Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Mixed flock

Something must have smelled rotten. (That's "delicious" in turkey vulture language.) A half-dozen or so turkey vultures and a pair of eagles were circling, circling, circling over a spot just beyond the trees bordering the highway north.

The highway shoulder where I parked was on the outer edge of their circle.

Cropped photo; the bald red head catches the light when he turns to look me over.

The underside of the wings is a pale grey. Wingspan: up to 70 inches, 178 cm, 1 3/4 metres. Wider than I am tall, by half a foot.

Turkey vultures can glide on the thermals for hours without flapping their wings, steering with those "finger" feathers, open in the first photo above, closed here.

And this I've never seen before: a pair of eagles was circling along with the vultures.

Off in the distance. The eagle is on the far outer edge of their circle.

The eagle is larger than the vultures, but not by much. The wingspan is up to 80 inches. And they do flap their wings as they turn. And even at a distance, the white head and tail are noticeable.

One last photo: a vulture as I mostly saw them, speeding away behind the power lines and trees.

I drove on up to the Sayward Junction and came back about an hour later. There were no vultures or eagles in the sky any more. They must have finally settled in to the feast.

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